Records: Capitol rioter plotted to kill federal agents

By Kimberlee Kruesi – Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Newly unsealed court documents show that a Tennessee man arrested for his involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection also conspired with another person in a failed attempt to kill dozens of federal agents involved in the investigation.

More than 880 people have been charged with crimes related to the attack on Jan. 6, 2021, the Justice Department said. Earlier this year, Edward Kelley, 33, was one of many rioters arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol and assaulting an officer.

FILE – Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. Newly unsealed court documents show that a Tennessee man arrested for illegally entering the U.S. Capitol as part of a mob of supporters of Trump, also allegedly conspired with another person to kill dozens of federal agents involved in the investigation. Both men made their appearance in court on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

According to the FBI, Kelley later discussed plans with 26-year-old Austin Carter to kill law enforcement personnel who had worked in his criminal investigation, and made a list of targets. Court records show that a witness provided the list of 37 names to a local Tennessee police department on Tuesday.

Kelley and Carter discussed collecting information and plans to law enforcement officials on the list, which also included on the FBI’s Knoxville field office.

“You guys are taking them out at their office,” said Kelley, who was recorded by the unidentified witness on Wednesday. “What you and Austin need to do is recruit as many as you can, call who you need to, and you’re going to attack their office.”

When the witness asked if the attack was taking place at the Knoxville office, Kelley said yes.

Carter later told the witness that “this is the time, add up or put up” and “to definitely make sure you got everything racked, locked up and loaded.”

Attorneys for Kelley and Carter did not immediately return messages for comment.

Both Kelley and Carter made their appearance in court on Friday in Knoxville before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jill E. McCook. They are charged with conspiracy, retaliating against a federal official, interstate communication of a threat and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.

“Federal law enforcement agents put their lives on the line every day to protect the public,” U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III said in a press release Friday. “Planning and threatening violence against them is among the most serious of crimes. It is absolutely unacceptable and will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”

The two men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 3. Meanwhile, Carter’s detention hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

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